dunnettreader + mena   36

Lebanon: Saad Hariri’s Impossible Choice
by Aurélie Daher One could say: “What a difference!” Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is back in Riyadh this week, for the first time since he announced from…
MENA  Lebanon  Saudi_Arabia  from instapaper
march 2018 by dunnettreader
Kuwait and Kurdish Separatism
by Giorgio Cafiero and Jesse Schatz The unresolved Kurdish question remains a highly influential dynamic in the Middle East’s geopolitical order. Recent…
Iraq  Kurds  MENA  from instapaper
december 2017 by dunnettreader
WTF happened in Lebanon and ISIS update - Tommy Vietor's foreign affairs podcast - Crooked Media - Nov 17 2017
With Rob Malley - Crisis Group - was ISIS lead on Obama NSC - he arrived in Beirut, scheduled to meet Hariri, just as Hariri resigned on Saudi TV. The stunt has succeeded in producing the miracle of all parties in Lebanon agreeing on something - that it was effectively a hostage situation and they want their Prime Minister back. The discussion mostly deals with Saudi screwing stuff up and MBS consistently taking counterproductive steps that blow up in his face, the problems when Trump is seen by the region as giving MBS a blank check, and the clean up efforts required, which the Trump Admin isn't (yet?) organized to do consistently. The only winner is Iran, which just has to sit back quietly and get out the popcorn. Interesting discussion of how the Obama administration found it difficult to stay out of supporting Saudis re Yemen - timing with Iran nuclear talks was key consideration in limiting perceived options.
podcast  US_foreign_policy  Obama_administration  Trump_foreign_policy  MENA  Lebanon  Saudia_Arabia  Iran  Syria  ISIS  GWOT  diplomacy 
november 2017 by dunnettreader
Failed states and the paradox of civilisation - Ernesto Dal Bó, Pablo Hernandez-Lagos, Sebastián Mazzuca | Vox.EU - July 2016
While cases of state failure have risen in the last decade, most notably in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, they are not a new phenomenon. Historical evidence from the early modern period, and even the Bronze Age, shows that the majority of formed states have failed rather than thrived. This column introduces the ‘paradox of civilisation’ to characterise the obstacles settlements face in establishing civilisations. The paradox defines the success of a civilisation as a trade-off between the ability to produce economic surplus and to protect it. It is therefore important to correctly balance military and economic support when providing aid. - Summary of NBER paper- downloaded vox version to Tab S2
paper  downloaded  ancient_history  civilization-concept  state-building  institutional_capacity  institution-building  failed_states  military  economic_growth  historical_sociology  agriculture  ancient_Near_East  ancient_Egypt  Sub-Saharan_Africa  MENA  Iraq  Syria  ISIS 
july 2016 by dunnettreader
Akeel Bilgrami, ed. - Beyond the Secular West (2016) | Columbia University Press
What is the character of secularism in countries that were not pervaded by Christianity, such as China, India, and the nations of the Middle East? To what extent is the secular an imposition of colonial rule? How does secularism comport with local religious cultures in Africa, and how does it work with local forms of power and governance in Latin America? Has modern secularism evolved organically, or is it even necessary, and has it always meant progress? A vital extension of Charles Taylor's A Secular Age, in which he exhaustively chronicled the emergence of secularism in Latin Christendom, this anthology applies Taylor's findings to secularism's global migration. (...) What began as a modern reaction to—as well as a stubborn extension of—Latin Christendom has become a complex export shaped by the world's religious and political systems. Brilliantly alternating between intellectual and methodological approaches, this volume fosters a greater engagement with the phenomenon across disciplines.
Preface, by Akeel Bilgrami
1. Can Secularism Travel?, by Charles Taylor
2. The Sufi and the State, by Souleymane Bachir Diagne
3. The Individual and Collective Self-Liberation Model of Ustadh Mahmoud Mohamed Taha, by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im
4. Creating Democratically Friendly Twin Tolerations Outside of Latin Christendom: Tunisia, by Alfred Stepan
5. Secularism and the Mexican Revolution, by Claudio Lomnitz
6. Is Confucianism Secular?, by Peter van der Veer
7. Disenchantment Deferred, by Sudipta Kaviraj
8. An Ancient Indian Secular Age?, by Rajeev Bhargava
9. Gandhi's Radicalism: An Interpretation, by Akeel Bilgrami
10. A Secular Age Outside Latin Christendom: Charles Taylor Responds
books  kindle-available  secularization  modernity  modernization  Islam  tolerance  liberalism  decolonization  secularism  universalism  MENA  Tunisia  Mexico  India  ancient_India  Gandhi  Sufis  Confucianism  connected_history  Taylor_Charles  Christianity  Christendom 
july 2016 by dunnettreader
The Caliphate’s Global Workforce: An Inside Look at Daresh’s Foreign Fighter Paper Trail (document leak to NBC News) | Combating Terrorism Center at West Point - April 18, 2016
Author(s): Brian Dodwell, Daniel Milton, Don Rassler
This report contains an analysis of over 4,600 unique Islamic State personnel records that were produced by the group primarily between early 2013 and late 2014. The importance of this data for understanding the Islamic State and, in particular, the foreign fighter flow, cannot be overstated. To put it simply, it is the largest cache of primary source documents produced by the Islamic State available in the open-source as of this date. These particular documents were acquired by NBC News from an Islamic State defector and subsequently provided to the CTC (and other entities). This report provides a window into the organization’s global workforce, revealing information about foreign fighters’ countries of origin, citizenship, points of entry into Syria, marital status, skills and previous occupations, education levels, religious knowledge, fighting role preferences in the group, and previous jihadist experience. In addition to analyzing the data at the macro-level, the report also highlights numerous anecdotes of individual fighters. Taken together, the analysis in this report reveals an organization that is attempting to vet new members, manage talent effectively within the organization, and deal with an incredibly diverse pool of recruits. -- downloaded via iPhone to DBOX
bureaucracy  Caliphate  report  counter-terrorism  downloaded  MENA  ISIS  Islamist_fundamentalists 
april 2016 by dunnettreader
Eamon Gearon - Turning Points in Middle Eastern History | The Great Courses
Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
Lectures at SAIS
36 lectures that covers the period from the rise of Islam and the last Caliph (1924)
The complaints hover around
(1) exclusion of important turning points - though most concern 20thC after 1924 eg foundling of Israel
And
(2) that he's "soft" (though not necessarily "biased") re Islam
The more open minded reviewers who know a lot of Western Civ history, but little re both Islam and the Middle East history, gave high marks for control and very high marks for delivery
Islam  buy  Islamic_civilization  18thC  20thC  MENA  courses  16thC  19thC  medieval_history  video  17thC 
april 2016 by dunnettreader
Kenneth Harl - The Barbarian Empires of the Steppes | The Great Courses
36 lectures - list price $320
- the video version is a must in order to follow the names of groups, locations and movements
A few bothered by mispronunciation and a lot of ahs - but most reviewers very enthusiastic - and replaying lectures to get all the info. Counters a few complaints that it's too superficial, or that it pays too much attention to the sedentary civilizations that were affected - the last complaint seems to miss the very purpose of the course.
Byzantium  Eastern_Europe  military_history  Central_Asia  empires  government-forms  medieval_history  military_tactics  Egypt  Persia  ancient_Rome  nomadic_invasions  cultural_history  Ghengis_Khan  trade  video  Eurasia  Roman_Empire  government-revenues  Ottomans  Iraq  Chinese_history  Black_Sea  Islamic_civilization  Atilla_the_Hun  ancient_history  India  Iran  China  late_antiquity  Sufis  Mamluks  cultural_exchange  military_technology  Golden_Horde  Turcic_tribes  Han_China  MENA  religious_history  Mongols  Tamerlane  Caliphate  courses  Buddhism  cultural_transmission  trade-policy  empires-tributary  barbarians  steppes 
april 2016 by dunnettreader
The real roots of Sunni-Shia conflict: beyond the myth of "ancient religious hatreds" | Vox Jan 2016
The story, as told, usually goes something like this: 1,400 years ago, during the seventh century, there was a schism among Muslims over who would succeed as…
Instapaper  MENA  religious_history  religious_culture  religious_belief  Islam  Shia  Sunni  geopolitics  Islamic_civilization  from instapaper
january 2016 by dunnettreader
What do we actually know about Mohammed? | openDemocracy
It is notoriously difficult to know anything for sure about the founder of a world religion. Just as one shrine after the other obliterates the contours of the…
Instapaper  Islam  religious_history  archaeology  historiography  late_antiquity  MENA  Byzantine  text_analysis  from instapaper
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Paul Pillar - The Heavy Historical Baggage of U.S. Policy Toward the Middle East | The National Interest Blog - July 2015
July 8, 2015 There is much to be said for what is commonly called a “zero-based review”—a fresh look at a problem or project unencumbered by existing… For all the insistence each Administration has to have its own strategic doctrine that breaks with predecessors, there's striking continuity in the Foreign policy Establishment attitudes toward MENA that comes from accumulated history of events or shifts in politics and economics in the region that produces a narrow range of what's seen as possible policy. Some of it's just facts that have produced structures that aren't going anywhere anytime soon. But that shouldn't impose strait-jackets on auto-responses.
Instapaper  US_politics  US_foreign_policy  MENA  Iran  Iraq  oil  Saudia_Arabia  Israel  Syria  GWOT  from instapaper
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Nicolas Delalande & Thomas Grillot - Interview with Jocelyne Dakhlia - Pouvoir et passions en terre d’Islam | Feb 2014 - La Vie des idées
Also translated into English -- Domaine(s) : Histoire -- Mots-clés : Moyen-Orient | islam | démocratie | Moyen Âge -- Aux clichés tenaces sur le despotisme oriental ou l’incompatibilité de l’islam avec la démocratie, Jocelyne Dakhlia répond par l’enquête historique sur les formes et les logiques du pouvoir dans les sociétés musulmanes. Son œuvre prolifique, qui s’étend des cours sultaniennes du Moyen Âge à la Tunisie contemporaine, redéfinit les contours de la Méditerranée et invite à penser autrement l’histoire de l’Europe. -- downloaded pdf to Note
Islam  Islamic_civilization  Islamic_law  political_order  political-theology  political_history  religious_history  religious_culture  government-forms  orientalism  despotism  democracy  democratization  liberal_democracy  MENA  medieval_history  medieval_philosophy  Mediterranean  North_Africa  19thC  20thC  21stC  historiography  modernity  Europe-exceptionalism  downloaded 
april 2015 by dunnettreader
Jeff Horn - Economic Development in Early Modern France: The Privilege of Liberty, 1650–1820 (release date for hardback mid-Feb 2015) | European history after 1450 | Cambridge University Press
Privilege has long been understood as the constitutional basis of Ancien Régime France, legalising the provision of a variety of rights, powers and exemptions to some, whilst denying them to others. In this fascinating new study however, Jeff Horn reveals that Bourbon officials utilized privilege as an instrument of economic development, freeing some sectors of the economy from pre-existing privileges and regulations, while protecting others. He explores both government policies and the innovations of entrepreneurs, workers, inventors and customers to uncover the lived experience of economic development from the Fronde to the Restoration. He shows how, influenced by Enlightenment thought, the regime increasingly resorted to concepts of liberty to defend privilege as a policy tool. The book offers important new insights into debates about the impact of privilege on early industrialisation, comparative economic development and the outbreak of the French Revolution. **--** 1. Introduction: profits and economic development during the Old Régime *--* 2. Privileged enclaves and the guilds: liberty and regulation *--* 3. The privilege of liberty put to the test: industrial development in Normandy *--* 4. Companies, colonies, and contraband: commercial privileges under the Old Régime *--* 5. Privilege, liberty, and managing the market: trading with the Levant *--* 6. Outside the body politic, essential to the body economic: the privileges of Jews, Protestants and foreign residents *--* 7. Privilege, innovation, and the state: entrepreneurialism and the lessons of the Old Régime *--* 8. The reign of liberty? Privilege after 1789 -- look for pdf of Intro once released
books  find  political_economy  economic_history  political_history  17thC  18thC  19thC  France  privileges-corporate  economic_culture  economic_policy  development  monarchy  profit  entrepreneurs  guilds  trading_companies  trade-policy  regulation  industrialization  industrial_policy  Colbert  Colbertism  urban_development  urban_elites  commerce  commercial_interest  French_government  Huguenots  Jews  colonialism  French_Empire  colonies  corporate_finance  monopolies  Levant  MENA  Ottomans  liberties  liberty  Ancien_régime  Louis_XIV  Louis_XV  Louis_XVI  French_Revolution  French_Revolutionary_Wars  Napoleonic_Wars  Restoration-France  bourgeoisie  haute_bourgeoisie  markets  markets-structure  foreign_trade  foreign_policy  foreigners-resident 
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Ron Harris - (pdf) The Institutional Dynamics of Early Modern Eurasian Trade: The Commenda and the Corporation
The focus of this article is on legal-economic institutions that organized early- modern Eurasian trade. It identifies two such institutions that had divergent dispersion patterns, the corporation and the commenda. The corporation ended up as a uniquely European institution that did not migrate until the era of European colonization. The commenda that originated in Arabia migrated all the way to Western Europe and to China. The article explains their divergent dispersion based on differences in their institutional and geographical environments and on dynamic factors. It claims that institutional analysis errs when it ignores migration of institutions. It provides building blocks for the modeling of institutional migration. -- via Dick Langlois at organizationsandmarkets.com presented at Nov 2014 conference put together by Business History program at Harvard Business School, on the History of Law and Business Enterprise -- downloaded to iPhone
paper  downloaded  economic_history  institutional_economics  legal_history  medieval_history  firms-structure  firms-theory  trade  colonialism  Europe-Early_Modern  China  India  MENA  Islamic_law  business_practices  risk_management  economic_culture  cultural_influence  trade-cultural_transmission  corporate_law  business_history  comparative_economics  Eurasia  business  organizations 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
Joshua Landis - Syria Year-End Predictions and Analysis – (28 December 2014)
Syria will become increasingly fragmented in 2015. The Somalia-ization of the country is inevitable so long as the international community degrades all centers of power in Syria and the opposition fails to unite.
islamist  diplomacy  syria  turkey  us_military  russia  us_foreign_policy  iran  military  global  governance  iraq  un  oil  price  obama  admin  failed  states  mena  civil  wars  congress  Pocket 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
The Reformation in Global Perspective
Abstract Concepts and methods introduced by the “new world history” present important opportunities to contextualize the European Reformation in transregional frames of reference. A global approach allows historians to situate the Reformation more fully within the orbit of people, ideas, and cultural goods that interacted with one another across the early modern world. A number of historians who study missionary encounters, especially those of Jesuits, have already initiated global methodologies in analyzing the Reformation overseas. Other scholars have pointed to ways in which an engagement with the wider world influenced European societies. These works indicate the rich possibilities for looking at the Reformation with new eyes. In assessing this scholarship, this article discusses the prospects and challenges for adopting global perspectives in the study of the Reformation.
religious_history  missionaries  cultural_history  latin  america  article  16thc  east  asia  historiography  china  reformation  catholics  africa  colonialism  world  history  counter-reformation  17thc  north  protestants  india  mena  paywall  cross-border 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
No More Aleppos by Javier Solana - Project Syndicate
increasing multipolarity is changing the EU's position and it needs to overhaul how it deals with its neighbors from Syria to FSU - The European Neighborhood Policy must be made more flexible. Conditionality has plainly failed to deliver the intended results, because, ultimately, its success depends on countries’ willingness to accept the European agenda. Countries that are considered strategically important will require more attention and more commitment. International politics is witnessing exceptional and far-reaching change. Unless multipolarity is met with an efficient multilateral approach, problems like Syria’s civil war will become much more frequent – and more difficult to resolve. Syria, and its largest city, is the perfect place to start seeking a better way.
geopolitics  EU  Syria  MENA  diplomacy 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
Special Issue in Memory of Charles Tilly (1929–2008): Cities, States, Trust, and Rule - Contents | JSTOR: Theory and Society, Vol. 39, No. 3/4, May 2010
1 - Cities, states, trust, and rule: new departures from the work of Charles Tilly - Michael Hanagan and Chris Tilly [d-load] *-* 2 - Cities, states, and trust networks: Chapter 1 of 'Cities and States in World History' - Charles Tilly [d-load] *-* 3 - Unanticipated consequences of "humanitarian intervention": The British campaign to abolish the slave trade, 1807-1900 - Marcel van der Linden [d-load] *-* 4 - Is there a moral economy of state formation? Religious minorities and repertoires of regime integration in the Middle East and Western Europe, 600-1614 - Ariel Salzmann [d-load] *-* 5 - Inclusiveness and exclusion: trust networks at the origins of European cities - Wim Blockmans [d-load] *-* 6 - Colonial legacy of ethno-racial inequality in Japan - Hwaji Shin. *-* 7 - Legacies of empire? - Miguel Angel Centeno and Elaine Enriquez. *-* 8 - Cities and states in geohistory - Edward W. Soja [d-load] *-* 9 - From city club to nation state: business networks in American political development - Elisabeth S. Clemens [d-load] *-* 10 - Irregular armed forces, shifting patterns of commitment, and fragmented sovereignty in the developing world - Diane E. Davis *-* 11 - Institutions and the adoption of rights: political and property rights in Colombia - Carmenza Gallo *-* 12 - Taking Tilly south: durable inequalities, democratic contestation, and citizenship in the Southern Metropolis - Patrick Heller and Peter Evans *-* 13 - Industrial welfare and the state: nation and city reconsidered - Smita Srinivas *-* 14 - The forms of power and the forms of cities: building on Charles Tilly - Peter Marcuse [d-load] *-* 15 - Was government the solution or the problem? The role of the state in the history of American social policy
journal  article  jstor  social_theory  political_sociology  contention  social_movements  change-social  historical_sociology  nation-state  cities  city_states  urban_politics  urban_elites  urbanization  urban_development  economic_sociology  institutions  institutional_change  property_rights  civil_liberties  civil_society  political_participation  political_culture  inequality  class_conflict  development  colonialism  abolition  medieval_history  state-building  religious_culture  politics-and-religion  MENA  Europe-Early_Modern  Reformation  networks-business  US_history  US_politics  US_economy  welfare_state  power-asymmetric  power-symbolic  elites  elite_culture  imperialism  empires  trust  networks-social  networks-religious  networks  14thC  15thC  16thC  17thC  18thC  19thC  20thC  geohistory  moral_economy  military_history  militia  guerrillas  mercenaires  sovereignty  institution-building 
october 2014 by dunnettreader
Jonathan Nitzan - Global Capital: Political Economy of Capitalist Power (YorkU, Graduate Seminar, Fall Term, 2014-15) | bnarchives
The seminar has two related goals: substantive and pedagogical. The substantive purpose is to tackle the question of capital head on. The course explores a spectrum of liberal and Marxist theories, ideologies and dogmas – as well as a radical alternative to these views. The argument is developed theoretically, historically and empirically. The first part of the seminar provides a critical overview of political economy, examining its historical emergence, triumph and eventual demise. The second part deals with the two ‘materialistic’ schools of capital – the liberal theory of utility and the Marxist theory of labour time – dissecting their structure, strengths and limitations. The third part brings power back in: it analyses the relation between accumulation and sabotage, studies the institutions of the corporation and the state and introduces a new framework – the capitalist mode of power. The final part offers an alternative approach – the theory of capital as power – and illustrates how this approach can shed light on conflict-ridden processes such as corporate merger, stagflation, imperialism and Middle East wars. Pedagogically, the seminar seeks to prepare students toward conducting their own independent re-search. Students are introduced to various electronic data sources, instructed in different methods of analysis and tutored in developing their empirical research skills. As the seminar progresses, these skills are used both to assess various theories and to develop the students’ own theoretical/empirical research projects. -- Keywords: arms accumulation capital capitalism conflict corporation crisis distribution elite energy finance globalization growth imperialism GPE liberalism Marxism military Mumford national interest neoclassical neoliberalism oil ownership peace power profit ruling class security stagflation state stock market technology TNC Veblen violence war -- syllabus and session handouts downloaded pdf to Note
bibliography  syllabus  capital_as_power  international_political_economy  political_economy  economic_theory  liberalism  neoliberalism  neoclassical_economics  Keynesian  Marxist  capital  capitalism  social_theory  power-asymmetric  globalization  financial_system  financial_regulation  risk-systemic  international_finance  finance_capital  financialization  production  distribution-income  distribution-wealth  inequality  MNCs  corporations  corporate_finance  corporate_ownership  corporate_control_markets  economic_growth  economic_models  imperialism  military  military-industrial_complex  IR_theory  ruling_class  class_conflict  energy  energy-markets  MENA  accumulation  accumulation-differential  capital_markets  public_finance  profit  investment  technology  elite_culture  elites-self-destructive  capitalism-systemic_crisis  Veblen  Mumford  downloaded  EF-add 
october 2014 by dunnettreader
Jack Goldstone - What is ISIS? | NewPopulationBomb - August 13, 2014
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has emerged as the most terrifying and brutal of extreme jihadist groups (and that is against tough competition, such as Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al-Shabaab in Somalia). Why have such extreme Islamist groups emerged in so many places in recent years? Odd as this may sound, it is not because of the appeal of extreme Islam itself. A study of fighters in Syria by Mironova, Mrie, and Whitt found that most fighters join ISIS and similar groups because (1) they want vengeance against the Assad regime and (2) they found from experience that the Islamist groups take the best care of their fighters — caring for the wounded, supporting them in battle. In situations of social breakdown — which are generally NOT caused by the Islamist groups themselves, but by problems of finances, elite divisions, and popular unrest due to oppressive or arbitrary actions by the state – extremists tend to have major advantages. This has always been the case throughout the history of revolutions: moderates are usually outflanked and outmaneuvered and out-recruited by radicals; so much so that the triumph of radicals over moderates is a staple of academic work on the trajectory of revolutions, from Crane Brinton to my own.
historical_sociology  revolutions  radicals  Iraq  Syria  MENA  Islamist_fundamentalists  US_foreign_policy  global_governance  NATO  military  military_history  alliances  Thirty_Years_War  terrorism  GWOT 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Franz-Stephan Grady - Meet the Elusive Man Responsible for Today’s Middle East Mayhem | The National Interest - June 2014
In the spring of 1915, bogged down British and French forces were desperately battling the Ottoman army on the Gallipoli peninsula trying to force the Dardanelles and occupy Istanbul. Amid the fighting, a 25-year-old Turkish officer, Lieutenant Muhammad Sharif Al-Faruqi, deserted to the British side on August 20, 1915. Trying to save his own skin and apparently determined to play a role in shaping the postwar future of the Middle-East, Al-Faruqi provided British intelligence with a host of assertions about himself and the Arab tribes under Ottoman suzerainty, which later turned out to be either wild exaggerations or plain lies. British intelligence, however, took Al-Faruqi’s statements at face value, which led the British to promise a great deal to the Arabs in exchange for revolting against the Turks. This in turn directly influenced the negotiations over the notorious Sykes-Picot agreement that in many ways has been at the root of much of the political upheaval in the Middle East ever since. Thus, Lieutenant Muhammad Sharif Al-Faruqi may very well be one of the greatest imposters in the history of international relations.
20thC  IR  political_history  military_history  spying  British_history  British_Empire  France  imperialism  Great_Powers  MENA  WWI  entre_deux_guerres  diplomatic_history  ethnic_conflict  sectarianism  Ottomans  Turkey  Iraq  Islamic_civilization  Shiites  Sunnis  Saudia_Arabia  Jordan  Israel  Great_Game  British_Empire-military  British_foreign_policy 
june 2014 by dunnettreader
John Philip Jenkins: The Lost History of Christianity | Amazon.com: Kindle Store
Publishers Weekly - Revisionist history is always great fun, and never more so than when it is persuasively and cogently argued. Jenkins, the Penn State history professor whose book The Next Christendom made waves several years ago, argues that it's not exactly a new thing that Christianity is making terrific inroads in Asia and Africa. A thousand years ago, those continents were more Christian than Europe, and Asian Christianity in particular was the locus of tremendous innovations in mysticism, monasticism, theology and secular knowledge. The little-told story of Christianity's decline in those two continents—hastened by Mongol invasions, the rise of Islam and Buddhism, and internecine quarrels—is sensitively and imaginatively rendered. Jenkins sometimes challenges the assertions of other scholars, including Karen Armstrong and Elaine Pagels, but provides compelling evidence for his views. The book is marvelously accessible for the lay reader and replete with fascinating details to help personalize the ambitious sweep of global history Jenkins undertakes. This is an important counterweight to previous histories that have focused almost exclusively on Christianity in the West.
books  amazon.com  kindle-available  religious_history  Early_Christian  late_antiquity  medieval_history  church_history  religious_culture  MENA  Africa  Asia  Islam  Islamic_civilization  Buddhism  mysticism  monasticism  science-and-religion  Mongols  Eurasia  EF-add 
june 2014 by dunnettreader
Gerald A. Larue - Chaper 6: The People, from the Paleolithic to the Chalcolithic Periods - Old Testament Life and Literature (1968) | infidels.org
long before the Hebrews entered the historical scene there were people living in the Fertile Crescent and Egypt. To grasp the magnificent human heritage that fell to the Hebrews and those who lived during the biblical period, the next two chapters will provide an overview of ancient Near Eastern history as reconstructed out of the researches of historians and archaeologists, first, from the Paleolithic to the Chalcolithic periods; and next [chapter 7] from the Early Bronze to the Late Bronze periods.
archaeology  ancient_history  prehistoric  MENA  Old_Testament  Egypt  Mesopotamia  Israel 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
Stephan Lehne - Time to Reset the European Neighborhood Policy | Carnegie Europe Feb 2014
Through its European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), the European Union (EU) aims to support the structural transformation of its Eastern and Southern neighbors, promoting democracy, the rule of law, and successful market economies. Ten years after the ENP’s launch, it is clear that the policy is not working. Adjusting the ENP to the changing reality on the ground, sharpening its tools, and rebuilding its credibility should be a top priority for the EU’s foreign policy leadership.
Europe  EU  EU_governance  balance_of_power  geopolitics  Russia  MENA  Eastern_Europe  IR 
march 2014 by dunnettreader
Ali Mamouri Iran on Quest to Legitimize Velayat-e Faqih in Iraqi Seminaries - Al-Monitor August 2013
With the worsening sectarian crisis in the region and the emergence of a sectarian conflict in Syria, the regime expected Najaf to support the Shiite position in the conflict as represented by Iran and its ally Hezbollah in Lebanon, or at least remain silent on the matter. But Najaf’s explicit position against waging jihad in Syria and the illegitimacy of the religious edicts calling for participation in the sectarian fighting there have placed Iran in a very awkward position.

The conflict between the Iranian regime, which believes in velayat-e faqih, and Najaf, which rejects that notion, has made some researchers in Shiite affairs predict the end of the traditional Shiite reference with Sistani’s death. But this seems unrealistic because of the coherent social structure in the Najaf seminary and its general position in the Shiite world.
Islam  Shiites  Iran  Iraq  Syria  MENA 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Hillel Fradkin , Lewis Libby: Erdogan's War on Ataturk's Legacy | Hudson Institute
Erdogan's bulldozers seek to remake not just Gezi Park, but the face of Ataturk's Turkey. Erdogan has just broken ground on a massive new bridge across the Bosporus to be named for Ottoman Sultan Selim I, often known as Selim the Grim. As all Turkish school children know, Selim's conquests in 1517 first won Ottoman sultans the title of Caliph. Ottoman rulers bore this title for the next 400 years, until Ataturk abolished it. On an elevated headland on the Asian side of Istanbul, facing Europe, Erdogan now undertakes to build the largest mosque in the world. Highly visible almost everywhere in Istanbul, it will resemble and surpass the great, celebratory mosques built over centuries by the Ottoman sultans. No such mosque has been built since Ataturk ended the caliphate. Thus, the square, the bridge, the mosque, the marching song are each a repudiation of Ataturk's legacy. They herald the caliphate over the republic, Erdogan's vision over Ataturk's.

By insisting on rebuilding these barracks, Erdogan honors those who resisted the secularization and the pro-Western movement that created modern Turkey. Indeed, it was Ataturk who razed the barracks and built the park seventy years ago as a sign of Turkey's modernization and secularism. Quite literally, what Ataturk built, Erdogan tears down. What Ataturk reviled, Erdogan prizes.

Erdogan has shown no sign of shifting course, as he continues to polarize. If, as expected, he responds to these challenges, as other politicians before him, by solidifying his base, he will lean even more toward Islamist and neo-Ottoman interests.
MENA  democracy  Turkey  Islamic_civilization  Ottomans  secularism  authoritarian  EU 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Hillel Fradkin , Lewis Libby  > Turkey and the Dream of Ottoman Revival |《 Hudson Institute
Speaking at Dicle University in Diyarbakir on March 15, Mr. Davutoglu called the past century a "parenthesis": a departure from the authentic political order to which Kurds, Turkey and the Middle East will soon return. His talk, titled "The Great Restoration: Our New Political Understanding from the Very Old to Globalization," was colored deeply by the "neo-Ottomanism" that both he and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan champion.

The unity of the 18th and 19th centuries, such as it was, derived from Ottoman power, both Caliphate and Empire. Contemporary Turkey cannot fill that role. Ankara's frustrations in the Syrian civil war show that..... Indeed, the Middle East may soon most resemble the ancient "disunity" of the 16th and 17th centuries, when Ottoman Sunnism contended with Iranian Safavid Shiism.
MENA  Turkey  Iran  Islamic_civilization  Ottomans  18thC  19thC  20thC  21stC  US_foreign_policy  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Why Turkey is Rebelling by Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan - Project Syndicate June 2013
Lack of institutions, especially property rights and civil liberties, including war on journalists. GNP growth rates aren't enough, especially how distributed
political_culture  institutional_economics  rule_of_law  Turkey  authoritarian  MENA 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Dani Rodrik: The Problem is Authoritarianism, Not Islam - Project Syndicate August 2013
Ultimately, democracy relies on an implicit quid pro quo among contending groups, according to which each agrees to protect the others’ rights in exchange for recognition of its entitlement to govern should it win an election. Constitutional provisions alone cannot ensure such an outcome, for those in power can easily override them. Instead, norms of proper political behavior must become embodied in the polity’s enduring institutions – its political parties, parliaments, and courts – in order to prevent abuse of power. What sustains these norms is the knowledge that undermining them will have consequences that are damaging to all. If I do not protect your rights while in power today, you will have little reason to respect mine when you come to power tomorrow. When an outside force such as the military interrupts this game, either directly or because one of the parties can rely on its intervention, the dynamics of political behavior change irrevocably. A case can be made for military intervention when a country finds itself on the edge of civil war, as Turkey was in 1980 (and as Egypt arguably was in July); but one should not confuse restoring order with restoring democracy. What does not help – and in fact backfires – is for outsiders to view the political crisis of Middle Eastern societies as the result of an Islamist-secularist divide. This perspective plays directly into the hands of authoritarian rulers like Erdoğan,
political_culture  democracy  legitimacy  MENA  Islam  Turkey  Egypt  military  authoritarian  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
J Judis: Should the U.S. continue to threaten Iran with war? | TNR June 2013
I am not in favor of new preventive wars that are promoted by people who don’t know the difference between a preventive war and a pre-emptive war.
US_foreign_policy  MENA  Iran  containment  diplomacy  just_war 
july 2013 by dunnettreader
Birgit Svensson: Can Baghdad Reclaim Its Title As Intellectual Capital Of The Middle East? | DIE WELT/Worldcrunch June 2013
As an Arabic saying goes, Middle Eastern books are “written in Cairo, printed in Beirut, and read in Baghdad.” At no time was this truer than in the days of the Abbasids, who reached their political and cultural highpoint in the 8th and 9th centuries while Europe was in the dark Middle Ages.

Traces of all this aren’t so easy to find anymore. The war and terror destroyed most of what remained. But now one of the old centers is being revived: the Bayt al-Hikma, or House of Wisdom, founded by Al Ma’mun (786-833), the son of Harun al-Rashid from One Thousand and One Nights. His intention was to create a gathering place for the intellectual elite — and the goal is the same today.
Medieval  Islamic_civilization  elites  intellectual_history  intelligentsia  Iraq  cultural_history  publishing  MENA 
july 2013 by dunnettreader

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